Motor Racing Network

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Motor Racing Network
Division of International Speedway Corporation
Industry Radio Network
Founded 1970; 48 years ago (1970)
Headquarters Concord, North Carolina[1]
Key people
Bill France, Sr. (founder)
Ken Squier (network founder)
Brodcaster of the year 2017- Mike Bagley
Products NASCAR racing and radio programming
Number of employees
Roughly 70
Website www.mrn.com

The Motor Racing Network (MRN) is the principal radio broadcasting operation of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), promoting themselves as the "Voice of NASCAR". MRN was founded in 1970 by William H.G. “Big Bill” France (the founder of NASCAR) and broadcaster Ken Squier, and is currently a subsidiary of the Frances' International Speedway Corporation

Its first broadcast was the 1970 Daytona 500. The network broadcasts coverage of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series races at tracks owned by ISC as well as Dover International Speedway and Pocono Raceway. It also has exclusive coverage of the entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. Other MENCS and NXS races are held at tracks owned by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Both SMI and IMS have their own radio networks (Performance Racing Network and the IndyCar Radio Network), unrelated except for the appearance of Doug Rice on IndyCar Radio during coverage of the Brickyard 400. The Monster Energy Open qualifying race and Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race are also broadcast on MRN, despite being held at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the headquarters of SMI. Many stations have affiliations with both MRN and PRN in order to air a full NASCAR schedule.

Broadcasts of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Formula One races receive MRN's highest ratings and hence the greatest station clearance (number of stations carrying the broadcasts). Audiences for the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series are considerably smaller, and hence lower station clearance. Some MRN affiliates broadcast all three series, but the lower series may be preempted by other events.

In addition to NASCAR races, MRN had exclusive coverage of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship (IMSA now does the radio broadcasts) and FIA Formula One World Championship, including the United States Grand Prix, which returned in the 2012 season at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas and offers other race related programs.

The MRN flagship station is WNDB, which serves Daytona Beach, Florida. The network headquarters moved near Charlotte, North Carolina in 2008.

Programs[edit]

While MRN's primary role is doing radio broadcasts of NASCAR races, they also produce daily radio programs that are carried by some of their affiliates. They also stream the programs on their website.

  • Coors Light Pole Updates (Short reports broadcast during Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying; full event broadcast available on some affiliates, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and through NASCAR.com's "Track Pass" subscription service).
  • NASCAR Today (Twice daily three-minute reports, one around noon and one late afternoon/early evening with the hosts of MRN Motorsports Monday).
  • MRN Motorsports Monday (Extended review of the past weekend's racing action with Woody Cain and Joey Meier).
  • Winged Nation (Sprint car news and interviews hosted by Kendra Jacobs and Steve Post)
  • NASCAR Live (Tuesday evening call-in show hosted by Eli Gold).
  • The Straightline (NHRA news and interviews hosted by Doug Herbert and Marty Hough)
  • NASCAR Performance Live (Call-in show featuring pit reporters and crew chiefs focusing on the mechanical aspect of the sport).
  • Fast Food (Guide to racetrack area gastronomy hosted by pit reporter Steve Post).
  • MRN Throwback Thursday (Rebroadcasts of classic races (formerly known as Flashback Friday)).
  • Ned Jarrett's World of Racing (Two-minute weekday morning commentary by two-time Grand National Series champion and former MRN pit reporter Ned Jarrett hosted by current booth announcer Joe Moore).
  • ISM Vision by BoldVu (Video Monitor's at track's MRN broadcasts; Interaction with fans, drivers, crews; Social Media interaction. Video Feed of the Race).

Three MRN announcers also host daily call-in shows on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio channel 90 year round. Mike Bagley and Pete Pistone co-host The Morning Drive Monday through Friday from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. Eastern time. Dave Moody hosts Sirius XM Speedway from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Moody was also the first NASCAR personality to host a show on satellite radio back in 2003 on Sirius Satellite Radio despite the fact NASCAR races and other NASCAR-related shows were exclusively on XM Satellite Radio. This changed on January 1, 2007 when MRN's Barney Hall announced the launch of Sirius XM NASCAR Radio on Sirius XM.

Affiliate stations[edit]

MRN has about 600 affiliate stations, including:

Alabama
Arizona
Delaware
Florida
Kentucky
Missouri
  • Kansas City: WHB
New Hampshire
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Texas
Virginia

Announcers[edit]

Current[edit]

2013 Motor Racing Network announcers (from left to right) Buddy Long, Kurt Becker, Alex Hayden, Mike Bagley and Kyle Rickey riding in a golf cart at Road America.

Booth announcers[edit]

Cup[edit]
  • Joe Moore (Lead booth announcer, 2001–present, co-host of Raceline on Motorsport.com).
  • Jeff Striegle (booth announcer, 2013–present)
  • Rusty Wallace (booth announcer, 2015–present)
Xfinity and Trucks[edit]
  • Kurt Becker (Lead booth announcer for Companion Trucks and Xfinity races)

(For Companion Races, Alex Hayden, Steve Post, Dave Moody and Mike Bagley Rotate Week to Week for 2nd Booth Announcer Spot)

  • Dan Hubbard (Stand-Alone Booth Announcer)

Turn announcers[edit]

Cup[edit]
  • Dave Moody (Turn announcer, 1987–present, Lead turn announcer 2001–present, host of Sirius XM Speedway)

Dave Moody primarily works turns 1 and 2 at most tracks (i.e. Daytona and Talladega), the backstretch at the short tracks (Martinsville and the September Richmond race (Mike Bagley works the April race)), turn 1 at Pocono and the esses at Watkins Glen. When the Truck and Cup Series share a weekend at an SMI venue (except for the All-Star Race), Dave Moody works the booth for the Truck race. This occurs during both Las Vegas Motor Speedway races.

  • Mike Bagley (Turn announcer, 1992–present, Fill in booth announcer, co-host of The Morning Drive)

Mike Bagley primarily works turns 3 and 4 at most tracks, the backstretch at Dover, turn 2 at Pocono, the backstretch turn complex at Watkins Glen and the backstretch at Daytona and Talladega.

Both men also work these same positions for the Xfinity and Truck Series when they share the same track and weekend with the Sprint Cup Series as well as standalone Xfinity and Truck races (usually road course races that aren't shared with the Sprint Cup Series (like Road America)).

Standalone/fill-in as needed[edit]
  • Kyle Rickey (Turn Announcer)(Primary 3rd Turn Announcer at Daytona, Talladega, Pocono and Watkins Glen)
  • Dan Hubbard (Lead West Coast Turn announcer, Stand-Alone Events Booth Announcer)
  • Tony Bokhoven (Turn announcer)
  • Dillon Welch (Turn announcer; son of Fox NASCAR pit reporter Vince Welch)

Pit reporters[edit]

Cup[edit]
  • Winston Kelley (Lead pit reporter, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame)
  • Alex Hayden (Pit reporter, Also Fill In Turn and Booth Announcer)
  • Steve Post (Pit reporter, co-host of Winged Nation, host of Fast Food).
  • Kim Coon (Social Media/Garage reporter; Co-Host of NASCAR Live Today Pre-Race Show)
Stand-alone races[edit]
  • Woody Cain (Pit reporter, also Co-Host of NASCAR Live Today Pre-Race Show)
  • Jason Toy (Pit Reporter)
  • Glenn Jarrett (Pit reporter)
  • Hannah Newhouse (Pit reporter)
  • Pete Pistone (Pit reporter, lead writer at MRN.com, co-host of The Morning Drive)

Former[edit]

MRN's Ned Jarrett interviewing Bill Elliott after a victory
Ned Jarrett during his days as an MRN pit reporter
  • Fred Armstrong (Turn announcer, Later Production Director).
  • Rick Benjamin (Broadcaster for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on Speed until 2014. Currently does lead broadcaster for NASCAR racing on NBC Sports Network.)
  • Allen Bestwick (Turn announcer 1988-95, lead booth announcer 1996-2000, fill-in booth announcer 2001-2003, (Was lead announcer for NASCAR coverage on ABC and ESPN, now works IndyCar races covered by ABC, plus covers college football and college basketball for ESPN. Previously was a race announcer then pit reporter for NASCAR on NBC and NASCAR on TNT).
  • Bill Bowser (Turn announcer, fill-in booth and pit reporter 1970-1991)
  • Russell Branham (Garage reporter for Daytona races, now a director at HB&M Sports in Charlotte, NC).
  • Dick Brooks (Pit reporter).
  • Kenny Campbell (Fill-in booth announcer, 1970s)
  • Dave Despain (Turn announcer in the 1970s, worked on ESPN and CBS racecasts in the 1980s-90s. Hosted Wind Tunnel from 2001-2013 on Speed, now with MAVTV).
  • Mark Garrow (Now booth announcer for PRN).
  • Eli Gold (co-anchor, turn announcer, pit reporter; resigned in 2016).[2]
  • Barney Hall (Booth announcer, retired in 2014 after 44 years involved in MRN, deceased).
  • Ned Jarrett (Color analyst for CBS Sports's and ESPN's NASCAR coverage).
  • Mike Joy (Turn announcer 1976-1979, co-anchor and exec producer 1980-84, pit reporter 1985-87. Broadcast NASCAR on TV for CBS, ESPN, TBS, TNN, SETN, MRN. Lead announcer for Fox Sports' NASCAR coverage 2001–present).
  • Bob Jenkins (Turn announcer in the late 1970s, worked on ESPN and NBCSN racecasts, currently the lead commentator for USAC's Silver Crown Series)
  • Dustin Long (Pit reporter and MRN.com writer, now pit reporter for NBC Sports)
  • Mike Massaro (Was a host of ESPN2's NASCAR Now, former pit reporter on ESPN/ABC's coverage and NASCAR reporter for SportsCenter. Now works as a pit reporter for NASCAR on NBC).
  • Gary Montgomery (pit reporter)
  • Rick Lewis (Studio announcer, died in 2001).
  • Dr. Jerry Punch (Former lead announcer for ESPN/ABC's NASCAR coverage, pit reporter for the networks).
  • Jim Phillips (Former pit reporter and host of NASCAR USA).
  • Marty Snider (Now a pit reporter for NBC's NASCAR and IndyCar coverage).
  • Dave Sutherland (Turn announcer in 1980s, now primary announcer at Monadnock Speedway).
  • Ken Squier (CBS Sports' Motorsports editor. Anchored CBS Daytona 500 coverage from 1979-1997).
  • Hermie Sadler (Pit reporter for the 2000 spring Richmond race, now does pit reporting for FOX Sports and also occasional pit reporter for PRN).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elkins, Ken (April 15, 2013). "Motor Racing Network building in Concord sells for $2.75M". Charlotte Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Biography of Eli Gold". eligold.com. Retrieved July 23, 2017. 

External links[edit]